Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vodafone , Vodafail more like- 1 store visit and several calls to do something simple.

Here's the scenario:
I have a Vodafone Prepaid number - registered in my name - which my Dad was using whenever he visited Australia.
As he now lives here and has 100 points of ID we tried to change the ownership from me to him.

Knowing that there would be an ID check I thought it best to go into a store and do it face to face.

#Mistake Number 1 - don't do it on a saturday just after a new iPhone has been launched!

Vodafone Chadstone - nice staff - they took my name and we were seen within 10 minutes.  The store was busy - so I have no gripes about waiting my turn!

The chap who served us was polite and appeared to understand what we were trying do - change the phone number from being under my name to my dad's name.

To me this should just be a change to first name, last name, address and date of birth fields - as it's a pre-paid account there is no contract and history is hardly relevant.
Okay - so Vodafone would rather create a new account. - No big deal.

We provided all the ID and information as requested.

Our customer service guy dialled up a number on his iPhone and held it to his ear with his shoulder - other than the odd "password",  "date of birth" type question the next 20+ minutes were silent.  Much typing from him and 3 disappearances into the back of the shop - I assume at least one of these was to do some photocopying.

The visit ended with him telling us that:
a) the transaction couldn't occur on a weekend
b) the transaction would be processed on Monday
c) it could take up to 48 hours to process
d) we would receive a text on that phone number when it had happened - "sometime on Wednesday"

We left and thought no more of it until Wednesday.

#Mistake Number 2 - not having that exchange and proof what had occurred in writing.

Wednesday - No text.

Call to Vodafone on Thursday indicated there was no change of ownership - I wonder what that half hour in the store was for then?

Assurance that it would happen within 24 hours.

#Mistake Number 3 - not getting customer service to email proof that conversation has occurred and that an action is pending.

24 hours later still not completed.

1 more call and by 3pm on Friday - 6 days after we started the process the number is in dad's name.

Surely the store visit should have been enough?  Having to make a follow up call that similarly fails to get the job done is another step too far?

Well I should have learned from my experiences with the various customer service calls I had to make in July that Vodafone Australia doesn't seem to get much right first time or second.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

IE8 - Loadrunner 9.52 - Crashes & DEP

So at my new place of work I've just got admin rights to my PC.

I was desperate to get on with things so I installed LoadRunner 9.5 ->9.51 and finally 9.52.

I rebooted and ....

Well that's when it all went south.  When I tried to record IE8 (yes here it comes) in VUGEN - I kept getting DEP problems & either no records or crashing.

I tried disabling DEP for Run DLL as APP - but to no avail.

FInally after much Googling (where would we be without you Google!) - I discovered Martin Spier's had written up this exact problem. (

You need to hack the c:\boot.ini to explicitly make /noexecute=alwaysoff

Many thanks to Google and Martin Spier's for this timely fix!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Follow up on User Agent and how to test mobile sites

If you long to see what a site that is optimised for mobile will look like but don't have a mobile device to hand what do you do?

In yesterday's post I alluded to a couple of tools for switching your user agent so that smart sites that define their behaviour accordingly are fooled.  Well it's probably a good idea to give you a some links to these.

My favourite is a firefox addon called User Agent Switcher by chrispederick - and you can get it at:

Safari 5 has an easy built in User agent switcher, to activate you need go into options\preferences - under the advanced tab there is a mysterious check box that says"Show developer menu in menu bar"

Once you've ticked this the menu bar will - as indicated - include a "develop" option.... see this image

I rather like the Safari switcher - and if you size the browser you can get quite a realistic looking replica of an iPhone, and because the menu bars auto-hide it's easy to get good screenshots.

I haven't yet tried one for chrome - but have found one:

I'll try that tomorrow.

And finally the most pointless one of all is for IE8, which you can get at :

I say this one is pointless - because IE8 doesn't use webkit so from what I found today you get none of the groovy mobile functionality.  No transitions, in fact, for me the site under test was not functional.  

But then when you try and get IE to pretend to be an iPhone what do you really expect?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another day - another feature discovered

I've been getting ready to test a website that is being optimised for mobile technologies. To test this I've been using Safari 5, where you can spoof the User-Agent to be iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and also Firefox with the excellent add-on of User Agent Switcher.

Both of these allowed me to see how the site was coming along - but when it came to recording for my load tests I had to think for a moment.

I've always just used Internet Explorer in VUgen, but now the super smarts of the website under test would detect it and... show the main website - not the mobile optimised site.

Not to worry - I installed Safari 5 and changed the settings in the recording options to use Safari instead.... No worries.

I already knew that I could set the User-Agent in the Runtime settings - but I wasn't to pleased with this as it is a little hit or miss as to whether someone checks them all before running.

Not to worry - I extended the use of the web_add_header which I have previously used for testing the website with and without HTTPZip compression.

So just by adding :
web_add_header("User-Agent","Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543 Safari/419.3");

I was able to programmatically test as if I was an iPhone.

This pleased me and allowed me to run my tests , now I just need to figure out how to get Xenu Link Sleuth to pretend to be an iPhone too!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I love discovering a new feature in Loadrunner

It's not often you get a "wow" moment when you're running performance tests, but yesterday I had one.

I'd been running tests using vugen and Loadrunner controller - but everytime I wanted to shift environments I would recode the script either with a "Hostname" parameter file or by using lr_save_string to store the base url for the environment under test.

No big deal really - except I've just built an all singing all dancing Hour in the Life of scenario. A scenario with 20 different scripts all set to run at different rates - comparable to a single servers expected load on our site.

Again not particularly earth shattering.


I have just received 3 new servers with Windows Server 2008 R2 - and
I wanted to run the same HILO test against this to get a comparative benchmark of the better hardware , running with a newer O/S.

Suddenly it dawned on me - I was going to have to change each of the 20 script files everytime I wished to change the target of my test.

But then while fishing around (really I was googling) and playing around in the run-time settings on the controller I discovered a mysterio setting - that I've been overlooking for years...
Additional attributes.

To use this all I needed to do was to change the lr_save_string command to read the additional attributes and then all would be good.
For example : lr_save_string(lr_get_attrib_string("ServerName"),"Hostname");

Now I realise I still need to update all 20 files with this - but I was going to have to do this anyway. But when I want to change it next time I can make the change in the controller in the run-time settings, rather than having to open each file in turn, make the change and then save it.

Okay, I understand it's a little win - but it's just made my day so much easier.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Raving about Farmstays!

I know it's been a while since my last blog - and that's just not really how they are supposed to work, but I've really had nothing much to say.

But now....

I need to rave about Farmstays - we have just returned from Kyneton (only an hour from Melbourne now) - the place we stayed at was

Our hosts were Janet and Eric - that and paddocks full of llamas, deer ( couple of different types) an alpaca or two - some stags. Did I mention cows, pigs, donkeys, goats and chickens too.

Every day Farmer Eric let us help out with the feeding and general well being of the animals - Tessa loved collecting the eggs and feeding the alapaca and llamas from her hand.

For me the highlight was a pig who we were told was pregnant - next lunchtime she had given birth to 12 piglets and was just giving them their first feed - 1 hour old piglets are just so cute!

So in summary...

If you've got kids, probably older than 18 months old, or you really like animals maybe you should check out a farmstay.

I'm sure Eric and Janet would be pleased to see you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another day almost done.

Going out to my best mates place for dinner tonight.

Hoping our kids will behave after their first day in creche.